Well, it’s been a minute since I bought my first home, but it occurred to me that there are some things that I really wish I had known. So here are the seven things that I wish I had known when I bought my first house.
Number one, as soon as you start looking at Pinterest, scrolling through apps, and looking at homes, find yourself an agent. Whether it is your next-door neighbor’s best friend, or you find someone online on social media, ask your friends, ask your family, and find an agent that is going to work for you.
Number two, the listing agent represents the seller. So if you are scrolling through homes online, and you roll up into an open house on a Sunday, and you love it, the only agent that you have now had any sort of communication or relationship with is the agent that represents the seller, that is not necessarily the agent you want representing you.
Number three, don’t be afraid to ask questions. And I mean, ask questions, there is no stupid question. Ask your lender, ask your friends, ask your agent, and make sure that all of your questions get answered, I see this almost more with folks who have purchased multiple homes than I do with first-time buyers. So even if you’ve bought five, six, or ten houses, you probably haven’t bought them this year in this market, and maybe not in this state or in this city or county. So don’t hesitate to ask, I promise we’re not going to judge you and think it’s a stupid question.
Number four, know your numbers. So you’re obviously going to be saving for your closing costs and your downpayment, and all of that stuff. But remember, you’re going to want to furnish that house too. You might want to buy some plants, you’re gonna have to pay for movers. So make sure that you’re accounting for those things. I have some great checklists and your agent probably does too. Make sure that you’re preparing for all of
those circumstances that are going to come up.
Number five know the disclosure laws. Here in Virginia, we are a buyer-beware state which means the seller doesn’t have to tell you all of the stories about the times that the pipes leaked or anything else. They are going to say as far as we know, it’s okay. Unless as far as they know, it’s not. They are required to disclose if they know there’s a problem, but proving that they knew or didn’t know later is very difficult. Have an inspection with an inspector you trust
and again, ask questions.
Number six, just to reiterate, have an inspection. You can have any and all inspections as long as you have listed those in the contract and agreed upon that with the seller in your contract for purchase. So not just a whole house inspection, but if you’re particularly concerned about the roof, you can get a roofer out there to check it out. You are going to pay for all those inspections but it is a whole heck of a lot easier to do that than pay for a new roof after closing.
Finally, number seven, lean on your agent. This goes back to selecting an agent that is somebody that you are comfortable with, comfortable asking questions and comfortable getting referrals from. My clients call me years, months, whatever later and asked me for a great lawn care person or a great gutter guy. If you want somebody who can be a resource, make sure you have all your information. I promise you a will make the process so much easier.
If you are looking to buy a house I would love to talk to you. I am happy to help answer any questions whether
you are here in the central Virginia region and I would love to help you but I have agents and friends all over the country that I can put you in touch with to give you the same level of service.